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00:31:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Valencia 10, Us 6, Kate Spade 5, San Francisco 2, The City 2, Fung 2, Don Allen 2, Mr. Sanchez 2, Hwang 2, Phil Lester 2, Mr. Paul 2, Leta 1, The Board 1, Pacific 1, Cu 1, Spade 1, Phil 1, Adobe 1, Honda 1, U.s. 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    August 18, 2013
    10:30 - 11:01pm PDT  

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department did in terms of notice was sufficient and appropriate based on the assessor's records and what they had before it, otherwise, it would be next to impossible to see everybody's ownership in every property that's my personal view, but i understand here we're talking about real people, not off-site investors. and i think that the -- i mean, this is a different type of a process here that we're dealing with and the fact that it has already gone down to the cu and that is on appeal, it gives me some assurance that further process will be had on this, so i'm somewhat disinclined to grant jurisdiction here, but i haven't yet fully decided. >> for me, again, it appears that the requestor had an opportunity to find out what was going on in a timely fashion and for whatever reason did not avail himself of it, so
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i'm less concerned about the notice part than the fact that he seemed to know and made inquiry and then didn't take next steps, so i would be inclined to not support it. >> i too after looking and reading the briefs, i believe mr. ringel was aware that this process was going on and the fact that he's using -- bh the zoning administrator was out too far for us to rehear this, that would open up pandora's box for many rehearings, i think he was aware that this process was done and again as our president has said, the cu has already gone through the planning at this point, so i see no reason to break that up.
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>> we have a motion. >> move to deny the jurisdiction request on the basis that it was not timely and what else? >> i think there's no need to state a basis if you're denying the request. >> okay. >> and i appreciate the effort. mr. pacheco? >> we have a motion from the vice-president to deny this jurisdiction request, on that motion, commissioner fung? >> aye. >> president hwang? >> hao*i. >> commissioner hurtado? >> aye. >> and commissioner honda? >> aye. >> the vote is 5-0, jurisdiction is denied and ?o appeal may be filed on this administrator order, thank you. >> we'll mover on to item 5b which is another jurisdiction request, the subject property is at 3166-16th street, the board received a letter from valencia corridor mer chants association requestor asking that the board take
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jurisdiction over a zoning administrator letter of determination issued on september 6, 2012. the appeal period ended on september 212013 and the jurisdiction request was filed on july 29, 2013. determination holder is jack spade, za order is regarding whether the fashion retail business known as jack spade would be classified as a formula retail establishment under the planning code. we will start with the requestor. you have three minutes, thank you. >> madam president and honorable board members of the board, my name is jefferson mccar ly, i'm the p*pt of is valencia corridor merchant's association, we're seeking a late jurisdiction request because the [inaudible] the
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merchants of the valencia corridor on a wide variety of issue, i have many examples that i would be happy to share, but around this issue, the city has been using an outdated neighborhood list to distribute vital information. the one merchant association that received the notice went to phil lesser from the merchant's association, who said yesterday on the article on mission local, i was the group's president ten years ago, i am no longer responsible for checking the mail, no city action has been taken to ensure that there is an effective line of communication for the business community in the mission district, additionally, the city made an erroneous determination, the jack spade is a separate business from kate spade and therefore should not be classified as formula retail. kate spade was able to mislead the zoning administrator by
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highlighting jack spade's distance from parrot company and hotly omitting jack spade's connection to kate spade, a chain of 94 stores, we implore that you grant us an opportunity to present the compelling evidence that we have uncovered with clear and unmistakable illustrations that jack spade is simply a trademark that belongs to kate spade llc and is not a separate entity. we would like to detail examples of how jack and kate are a financial structure, we are talk k about one business, one headquarters, one distribution center, one team of employees that fall under the same h.r. department. we hope to share with you the results of the research we've done under kate spade's deprive tactics to open a 95th store in the valencia corridor, we
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wouldn't be here tonight seeking late jurisdiction if the city had caught this in september, please allow us to show you that a spade is a spade and that a chain with 94 u.s. stores does not belong in an area protected by the zoning code. thank you for your attention. >> excuse me? >> yes. >> can you explain why you feel your organization should have been on that list again. you indicated you thought it was outdated, but why should your organization have been on that list? >> so, the organization should have been on the list because i believe that there should be some effort from the planning department to reach out to the business community. the city reaches out to the business community all the time effectively and seamlessly, we are constantly -- we constantly receive an open communication from a lot of different city
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departments, so i don't think it's that hard. why should it be that hard for the planning department? >> how long has your organization been around? >> the valencia corridor merchants association is pretty new, less than a year, but never heard of this list. we didn't hear of this list until i visited the board of appeals office. >> okay, thank you. >> i'm confused, who is the person from ten years ago? >> owe, phil lester was the president of the merchant's association. >> not the valencia? >> that's correct. >> not your organization? >> that's correct. >> okay, thank you. >> okay, thank you. we will hear from the determination holder now. >> hi, everyone, thanks for your time this afternoon. my name is melissa exitus and i work at jack spade, they have 10 stores domestically and no two stores alike, what resonates to our customer is we
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have stores and neighborhoods that are filled with character, one is housed on an old bungalow which happens to be our only store in california, the distinct nature of our spaces is distinct of who we are, we spent a great deal of time searching for the perfect neighborhood to be highly compatible with our brand, in april, 2012, our local broker told me that the owner of the adobe bookstore was retiring, i loved it, i thought jack spade would be a great fit for the space, i thought how we could keep the legacy of the bookstore alive and i was advised by the formula retail
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rule, we have a track record of going into unique neighborhoods who kh* attest to the different design and business strategy of jack spade from the different designs and portfolios, before we engage in lease negotiations, we wanted an lod approval from the city, we wanted the community will you the lod process to be able to weigh in on our lan plan, since we received a favorable lod from the m*ins rate torx there was no opposition, we entered into a lease for this space on 16th street, it was not only the article appealed on the almanac have a year later that there might be neighborhood opposition, when some community opposition became apparent, our architect thought it would be a good idea for us to meet phil lester, a community leader who could help us with xlaount outreach, it is important to know we did not know phil until
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we introduced ourselves on april 8, 2013. we then met phil in person on april 22, 2013, 7 months after the lod was approved, the same day after meeting phil, he introduced us to don allen, the president of the merchant's association, we informed him we had received approval for our lod and at all points during the process, we have been transparent about our association to fifth and pacific and kate spade, we not only mention it in our lod application but we discuss it with the press and community leaders as well. our design philosophy, real estate strat sxri *f ji and business approach is significant different than any other brand in their portfolio. we only pursue a location that we can support on our own, we have every intention to preserve the unique character of the building. am i out of time? >> yes, you're out of time. did you bring photographs -- was that what you were -- >> sorry, i ran out of time.
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>> excuse me. >> sorry. >> i have them in my packet, right? >> yeah. >> okay, great. >> thank you. >> mr. sanchez? >> thank you, scott sanchez, planning department, this is another jurisdiction request for a letter of determination that was issued for the property on 3166-16th street, it is in the commercial district t letter of determination made a determination at the time in september of 2012 that jack spade, the subject use, was not considered a formula retail use. now, i would like to provide a little bit of perspective about a letter of determination, what it is, what it means, what it doesn't do, under planning code 307, the zoning administrator is responsible for interpreting the planning code and also is responsible for responding to requests for determinations about planning code requirements. so, in this case, they sought a
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letter of determination, they wanted to get the department's official position about whether or not the subject use was considered a formula retail use. it is not a permit, it does not vest, it does not entitlement, so what is really the important, the key thing for establishing a use is the building permit application that would ultimately confirm the use. i would note there are appeals on two building permits related to this property that are scheduled i believe for a hearing next week at the board of appeals and it is of my opinion and i would assume the city attorney would share this opinion, at that time, the board would have full authority to make a determination at that time about whether or not the subject use is formula retail. i would note that when this letter of determination was issued in september of 2012 at the time jack spade only had 7 stores, i think that's increased to 10 stores, additionally, the board of appeals has made a determination about the interpretation or our interpretation of what
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constitute as formula use retail establishment and now we are considering locations for which a lease is held to count towards the 11 unit threshold, so we have changed our policies, and it's my opinion na the board would have full jurs d*ibs of the matter next week and that this letter of determination is relatively irrelevant so in terms of granting the jurisdiction, what additional rights and benefits that would con firbacker fer, i would say that wouldn't allow much more, there's nothing to stop any one member of the public from requesting a new letter of determination regarding jack spade and posing the same question and we would respond and that would have a new 15 day appeal period. i don't believe this is a vesting interest or entitlement. i would note that under the planning code, there is no notification requirement for letters of determination, unlike the letter of legitimization which has a code
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requirement for notification, subject to previous board of appeals hearing, regarding leta, i did start issuing notifications to neighborhood groups and in this case, a notice was failed to the neighborhood establishments that are on our mailing list, that is available on our website, there are instructions about how to join and also about how to correct your information, your mailing information, i'm available for any questions. >> mr. sanchez, our decisions are not pres d*ernl, you know that anyway, just to add clarity, this list is if i remember correctly, usually interested parties who have approached it before within that geographical area, is that correct? >> yes, so we would mail conditional use authorizations, so there's the planning code
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requirements for notice, and you know, it could be a certain distance depending on the type of project it is, but we also mail it to interested neighborhood groups and that information is available on our website, what the groups are, how to add your name, etc., so this -- in this case, since the code doesn't have a requirement for notifying everyone within 150 feet, then the next best thing was to notify those parties, the community groups, again, the 36 groups that expressed interest in this manner or in all matters related to planning. then it's a variety of entities. >> okay, thank you. >> can i ask you a question, mr. sanchez? >> yes. >> what is the reason for someone obtaining an lod? >> i think it's to provide some level of certainty, some expectation about the process
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that they could expect moving forward. we have in san francisco a very complicated planning code, a complicated entitlement process, it could be quite lengthy, i think before someone wants to venture down that path, they would like to know about what process they have to avail themselves of, so we receive a couple of requests a year related to formula retail use, there was this, there was athleta a couple of years ago, so every once in a while, they want to know what the process is, do they need a cu, you're not permitted in certain zoning districts, so they would just like to know that. >> so, an lod is just preliminary? >> essentially, as the information that's submitted and we're applying the code to this, this is just an answer to a question. >> thank you plaintiff's exhibiter sanchez. >> but the lod is in
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relationship sto the formula retail policy, so could you taug about how you analyze this application for a company that is a subsidiary of a larger corporation and its relationship to other stores under that corporate umbrella? >> i appreciate the characterizations of the jurisdiction request for that, i was misled in reviewing in and there's much concern, much frustration, much emotion about this use in particular, however, having rearview this, even subject to this board's decision about including leased establishments, i still have the same finding that this is not a formula retail use and the question of corporate ownership is currently not one which is addressed in the planning code. there are 8 or 9 different proposals by the board of supervisors that would make changes to our formula
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retailers, one was presented by supervisor breed and it would affect his government neighborhood district would consider corporate ownership but that's currently not in the code and we cannot apply that, there are many proposals that would change the code, that would allow us to consider that but at this point, it does not focus on that. we look at the number of establishments that exist of that entity. we don't look to see the corporate parents of the business. >> so, the existence for example, the single distribution center would not necessarily be of interest to you? >> no, because it looks at the number of -- we had a very intensive discussion about this at the hearing several months ago now and we look at the number of other retail establishments, in this case, they have 10 others now, this would be the 11th and under the code, you have to have 11 formula retail uses, 11
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establishments to be considered formula retail use, so it's the 12th one that triggers the requirement. in this case, we don't count the kate spade stores, we see those as distinct from the jack spade store, it's my understanding the jack spade stores are men's clothing and accessories, the kate spade stores are women's clothing and accessories, i looked at their websites and tried to compare them, i didn't see an overlap of product, they have the same types of products, i see i phone cases but they were different design, i didn't see we could make that link and draw in the kate spade stores. and we did ask after the board's ruling if they had any other establishments under lease and i was told no, that they did not. >> what would be the practical consequences granting jurisdiction given you pointed out that there are appeals to the pert themselves for this site? >> there would be the ability to file an appeal on the letter
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of determination, i think the fee is approximately 600 dollars, but it would be a separate hearing to consider the merits of that determination, but my opinion would be that the board can make those considerations next week on the appeals that are already filed and paid for and the board would have the ability next week to uphold or deny those permits for the reasons the board sees fit. >> the appeals of osca, those were building permits, correct? >> that's correct, those were building permit applications. >> i don't recall in that case if there were letters of determination. >> they were permits. >> it was just the permits. >> thank you. >> okay, so we will take public comment. can i see a show of hands of how many people plan to speak under this item? okay. >> okay. just, we have at least one more item on our calendar. i'd like to see how many people
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are here for number 6? item number 6, how many people are here for that? item number 6, we also have 5c which is the 70 crestline matter. >> oh, 5c, okay. >> okay, so i'm going to ask a few things of the people who would like to speak, if you haven't done so already, you fill out a speaker card, if you're willing to do that and give it to mr. pacheco when you come up to speak, it would help us in the preparation of the board's minutes, i ask people line up on the far side of the room so we can move this along as quickly as possible. >> i'm going to allow 2 minutes, if you really need 3 minutes, then take the 3 minutes but i would like to keep it to 2 tonight given the number of speakers. >> mr. paul, you can begin whenever you're ready. >> one minute, mr. paul.
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madam president, it's not that i don't want to hear a lot of testimony here, the question is, i want to make sure that the people in the audience are aware that whether a jurisdiction is granted doesn't mean necessarily that the permits will be overturned, and i may suggest that we go ahead and grant jurisdiction and hear all of them together as one comprehensive, and therefore people can say whatever they want to say. >> is that a motion? >> you're suggesting -- but we need to hear public comment. >> we'll take public comment, whoever wants to speak is welcome to speak, they have the right to speak, but the question is, is if we grant jurisdiction and hear it
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together with the underlying entitlement which is the building permit, then you know, perhaps some people don't want to speak then. >> yeah, and i think just for the people who have come to speak, i think what commissioner fung is trying to make clear here, first of all, i think this process for those of you who are not regular visitors and attendees, it is an unusual one and the language we're using and the processes aren't things that we aren't all way ware -- aware of, so i think what we're trying to make clear is that the letter of determination is not on the merits whether this is a formula retail, the standard that we generally apply to a jurisdiction request such as this is whether there's been some error on the part of the agent, i mean, the department
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in providing sufficient notice, as we heard, there was no notice requirement here and -- or some manifest in justice involved, i think that's the standard on jurisdiction request, which is very distinct of the merits, of the substantive appeal which we're going to see on the building permits next week, so given the numerously of the people that are going to speak and we welcome your testimony, i'm not trying to shut anyone down here, i want to give people somewhat of an understanding, and -- of what the process is today versus what the process will be next week, and we anticipate at next week's appeal that we're going the hear a lot about formula retail, and tonight is probably not the night for those types of comments, but you can say
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whatever you want. >> okay, one other thing, commissioners, if you were to decide to grant jurisdiction and hear all the matters together, we would not be able to hear them next week because under the code, we have to wait longer than that. >> sure, i mean, would we be -- you've already noticed the hearing. >> you can hear the two appeals that are currently on calendar regarding the building pert but you could not hear an appeal of the letter of determination. >> so, there's another process thing. so, a hearing on the merits of the letter of determination which was issued -- in the e vept we grant the jurisdiction request, that hearing would not be heard until after a hearing on the merits of the actual permits. am i being unclear? >> no. >> am i confusing everyone? >> i think we just need to hear
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-- >> we can hear them all together, you would have to order us to reschedule the permit appeals, and you could hear them in september. >> yeah, we're thinking sort of -- okay, i'm just going to go forward. i'm trying to communicate something very clearly but we'll just go forward with this proceeding. >> okay. >> thank you very much for your clarifications, president hwang, my name is jeremy paul and i'm a permit consultant and i am here on my own because i believe in transparency in our systems. i've been doing this for more than 20 years and i often advocate for formula retail, i'm not a particular opponent of this particular retail, what i am an opponent of is this letter of determination and i think it's very relevant, i disagree with the zoning administrator because what it's relevant to is a right to a public hearing on whether or
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not all of the issues that the determination holder mentioned up here, i mean, it sounds like a great store. that should be at the planning exhibition. that should not be here about a letter of determination. this is not about whether the notice was received by a valencia merchant's group, it's not about mr. lester and whether he had an obligation to turn over a letter, the charter of the board of appeals addresses significant public interest and from my perspective somebody in use of the permit process all the time, i believe there's a significant public interest in this letter of determination. i believe that just like hackers and security specialists, there is a cat and mouse game and yes, prop g put a cap on 11 stores and defined what that store is, it's changed. that ball has moved because the
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market wants to find a way around this limitation, and i think it's not the zoning administrator's responsibility necessarily to foresee the way the market is going to change its practices to try to avoid public policy implemented by prop g. what it is is the board of appeals is the body that can do that and give the voice to the merchant's association, to the community at large who had no way to know that this letter of determination had been granted or what the impact of this letter of determination would be, so i would ask you to take jurisdiction, hear this letter of determination and require jack spade to go through the process that every formula retail does and if they've got a great scheme, something that fits for this neighborhood, this planning commission will approve that conditional use. if they wanted to comply with that conditional use process from the outset, they wouldn't
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have requested the letter of determination, if they were really interested in outreach, they would have sent out a notice of the 300 foot radius that a cu requires and you would have seen them at the planning commission real lil discussing the issues of the quality of their presentation. >> thank you, thank you. >> thank you. >> next speaker, please, and if the speakers could line up right there at the podium and not against the wall, that would be great, thank you. >> hi, my name's ema grim, i had a business on the valencia corridor for 15 years, i'm a member of the vcma, i would like to clarify a couple of things, our organization has been around for 2 plus years and i am a friend of don allen, president of the mma, he told me that he never saw a letter from jack spade and that -- when he did finally speak with someone from jack spade, he told them that we would not tha, the vcma would not be
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amenable moving into our neighborhood and they should reach out to us, they never did that and we spoke to them, we tried to reach out to them through various means and we were never responded to so that's what i would like to say. >> thank you, i just want to point out that people who are officers of the valencia corridor merchants association should not speak at this time. >> thank you. >> thank you, president, commissioners for giving me the opportunity to speak tonight, i'm not an officer of the vcma, i'm the past president for clarity, and i'm a business owner of valencia street, one and a half blocks from jack spade, it's attempting to occupy by circumventing or conditional use process, it is hard being a business owner in san francisco and there are many obstacles to conquer and i am comforted by the sense of community in the mission